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J Fish Biol. 2011 Jul;79(1):122-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.02998.x. Epub 2011 May 12.

Genetic population structure of perch Perca fluviatilis along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea.

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Institute of Coastal Research, Swedish Board of Fisheries, Skolgatan 6, SE-742 42 Öregrund, Sweden.


In this study, the genetic variation of perch Perca fluviatilis from 18 different sites along the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea was assessed. There was a relative strong support for isolation by distance and the results suggest an overall departure from panmixia. The level of genetic divergence was moderate (global F(ST) = 0·04) and indications of differences in the population genetic structure between the two major basins (central Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia) in the Baltic Sea were found. There was a higher level of differentiation in the central Baltic Sea compared to the Gulf of Bothnia, and the results suggest that stretches of deep water might act as barriers to gene flow in the species. On the basis of the estimation of genetic patch size, the results corroborate previous mark--recapture studies and suggest that this is a species suitable for local management. In all, the findings of this study emphasize the importance of considering regional differences even when strong isolation by distance characterize the genetic population structure of species.

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